Guyanese writes Judge Irizarry…Ahmad should be jailed 30 years, deported after
Less than a week before he is to be sentenced, prominent New York-based realtor, Edul ‘Ed’ Ahmad, is not riding a smooth road to his bid to receive a non-custodial.
That is because someone claiming to be a Guyanese has written to Judge Dora Irizarry asking her to impose a custodial jail term because of the damage that Ahmad has inflicted on the Guyanese community and his victims.
According to a letter dated April 2 to the judge, Habeeb Bacchus, noted that the case against Ahmad has intrigued many Guyanese in the New York area and in Guyana over the last few years for the extraordinary and excruciatingly long period of delays.
Bacchus, according to court documents filed online, lauded the judge for finally bringing the delay “circus” to an end and setting the sentencing for Friday, April 21.
“You will do a dis-service to this community those who suffered losses if you stray from sentencing guidelines as protected by laws governing fraud in any form whatsoever, no matter how little· or how much. This is a US$50 million scheme to defraud federal banks and lending institutions on top of false tax returns, false documentation in a short period time.”
Bacchus noted that that it was strange that US prosecutor Alexander Solomon is asking for leniency under section 5K1.1, for sentencing Ahmad because he caught another Guyanese, New York Senator, John Sampson, “a smaller fish”.
“The senator’s problems did not amount to $50 Million. Why would a prosecutor, obtaining conviction make a U-turn and request a lesser sentence for this shark? It boggles my mind and it should bother you too as well as other legal minds. But, you don’t have to go by his request.”
The documents quoted Bacchus as telling Judge Irizarry that it is her obligation to find that the laws were broken and there was enormous fraud committed on poor Guyanese trying to own a home.
“I urge you Honorable Judge, to use the laws on books and sentence this convict to 30 years maximum, no time off for good behavior or cooperating to catch the Senator, be deported after serving, paying fines, restitution.”
Bacchus argued that Ahmad’s scheme was totally 100% fraudulent and with criminal intent.
“Just a poor excuse as a convicted fraudster. Guyanese are hardworking, like many other nationals. I am also a Guyanese who worked hard to provide for my family, though I am not a victim of Ahmad. But it hurts all Guyanese to the core and shame when another from Guyana perpetrated, committed fraud and robbed them of their dignity and honour.”
Bacchus also said that in 15 years, Ahmad was able to “illegally earn” US$50M?
“That wasn’t by winning the lottery for sure. Ahmad was not a “model citizen” for certain. He broke the laws by which we all live by. Do not fail this community, the hard working citizens. Taxpayers are willing to foot the bill for his new home in the Federal prison system.”
However, it was only last week that Ahmad’s lawyer, Steven Kartagener, in a seven-appeal said that his client knows that he, in the past, had done wrong.
“He has, however, also done much to make amends for his lapses. We respectfully request the court to conclude that, on balance, defendant has earned the right to avoid incarceration, as consideration for all that he has done in bringing the Sampson’s case to a just conclusion.
Based on all of the foregoing, we respectfully urge the court to impose a non-incarcerative sentence.”
In the appeal to the court, the lawyer included character statements from one imam and a pastor to speak on Ahmad’s work in his community.
Prosecutors, a few weeks ago, recommend Ahmad pay US$3M to mortgage banks and other victims and receive the minimal amount of sentencing.
Prosecutors also recommended that the courts not be too harsh as Ahmad had cooperated in another court case which saw the successful prosecution of a US senator.
In October 2012, Ahmad, a prominent realtor in New York, pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn, New York court, to count one of a 10-count criminal complaint against him.
In admitting guilt, Ahmad told Judge Dora Irizarry that between January 1995 and January 2009, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, together with others, he knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud several lending institutions, in a mortgage fraud scheme that lasted almost 15 years.
The offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. U.S. Attorney Alexander Solomon had recommended that he be sentenced to between 121 and 151 months (10 to approximately 13 years) of imprisonment.
According to court documents filed late earlier this month, Ahmad will have to pay restitution to Countrywide Home Loans, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Option One Mortgage Corporation, among others, to the tune of over US$3M. These were all victims in Ahmad’s real estate fraud.
In their sentencing recommendations, prosecutors explained that beginning in 2000, the defendant and other co-conspirators defrauded various lending institutions by obtaining mortgages on properties located in the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere through fraudulent means, including by falsifying mortgage loan applications.
That false information made the borrowers appear to be more creditworthy. As a result, the financial institutions were fraudulently induced to issue mortgage loans.
Prosecutors had painted a picture of Ahmad as a powerful businessman known in the Guyanese community in New York with strong political connections.
To conceal these facts from the lenders, members of the conspiracy falsified Department of Housing and Urban Development forms in order to deceive the lenders about disbursements at closings.
On July 21, 2011, the defendant was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
On October 13, 2012, Ahmad pleaded guilty, in a deal, to charges of bank and wire fraud conspiracy. As part of his agreement, he agreed to pay US$500,000 before the date of his sentencing. To date, the defendant only paid US$29,662.18, prosecutors said in their documents.
The court documents were explosive. It was disclosed in late fall of 2011, the defendant agreed to meet with the government, and provide information about his own role in the mortgage fraud conspiracy, as well as information regarding his friend, New York State Senator, John Sampson, who was then the Senate Minority Leader.
Most notably, Ahmad described a 2006 payment of US$188,500 to Sampson that Sampson claimed was necessary to replenish embezzled funds in connection with his failed run in 2005 to become the Kings County District Attorney.
In return for this secret payment, Sampson engaged in additional official acts on the defendant’s behalf, including successful efforts to arrange for the defendant to become an official broker of bank-owned real estate properties in New York State.
Ahmad even agreed to participate in recorded meetings and phone conversations with Sampson and his associates.
During these meetings and phone calls, Sampson’s recorded statements corroborated information provided by the defendant to the government about his efforts to obstruct justice.
Sampson, from Guyana, was later charged and convicted.
According to prosecutors, Ahmad’s testimony was highly critical to sinking the senator who was recently jailed five years.
Ahmad has businesses in Guyana and had planned to build a hotel and casino, overlooking the army headquarters, in Thomas Lands.
He was said to a close friend to former President Bharrat Jagdeo. He had even shipped a container of building materials to him.